Maybe Treyarch got wind of the ever-increasing spread of 9-Bang memes on Reddit, or simply realised being blind in the middle of a gunfight isn't much fun, but the troublesome flash grenade has now been completely pulled from Blackout.

According to the patch notes for the latest update, Treyarch has removed the item so it can "evaluate [the 9-Bang's] place in the gameplay loop". Players had complained the 9-Bang was too effective at blinding people for a considerable amount of time - particularly in the later stages of battle royale matches. A previous update had actually nerfed the item by reducing its carry amount to one, but this seemingly wasn't enough to stop the tyranny of the 9-Bang. Good riddance (for now).

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Removing the 9-Bang was a bright idea.

The changes to Blackout don't end there, however, as the update brings a raft of fine-tuning tweaks to the mode, as well as a new limited-time event.

He's a little late for Halloween, but the Blightfather from Black Ops 4's Zombies mode is once again migrating to Blackout for a short amount of time. You'll be able to spot him by the red pillar of light emanating from your nearest zombie residence - and if you're successful at downing him, you should be rewarded handsomely. And probably then picked off by a sniper once you step foot from the building. So it goes.

Another upcoming event is the first 2X Tier Boost Weekend, which begins this Friday and will give players bonus XP in Multiplayer and Blackout, along with double the normal amount of Nebulium Plasma in Zombies.

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Black Death 4, more like.

Something that also seems quite temporary is the ever-shifting number of players in each of Blackout's playlists. Quads has been bumped up to the classic 100-player battle royale standard, while Solo and Duos are now capped at 88 players. The squad battles already seemed fairly frantic on Blackout's map with a lower player count, so this should make things even cosier.

Many of Blackout's guns have also been buffed - such as the Spitfire and Rampart 17, which have both had their recoil reduced, and the Auger DMR, Titan, VKM 750 and Hades, which have all had their re-centre speed and re-centre pattern offsets improved. Hopefully this should tighten up some of the spray on these guns, and frankly, I'll take any improved accuracy I can get.

Aside from Blackout mode changes, regular old Multiplayer is also getting some attention. Team Tactical Moshpit has been added to the Featured Playlist, while Mercenary Chaos Moshpit and Mercenary Hardcore Moshpit are making an appearance in the Featured category.

Oh - and there's a bunch of fixes and improvements to the gameplay in all of the modes. You can check out the patch notes if you want to get into the nitty-gritty side of things.

For now, players seem to be pretty happy with the work Treyarch is doing to balance Blackout (although that annoying gun rendering problem is still at large). Personally, I'm just relieved the 9-Bang is finally gone. It should make Blackout a damn sight better.

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Emma Kent

Emma Kent

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Emma Kent is a reporter for Eurogamer. She spends most of her time curating a spooky girl aesthetic, and the rest playing DDR games.

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